Science News

Another Secret to Smooth Ice-cream

Sat, 18th May 2002

Part of the show Using DNA to trace human evolution & origins - Chris Howe

We've all had ice cream that was crunchy. The reason is that with repeated thawing and re-freezing as happens when you take the tub out of the deep-freeze, the ice crystals grow too large and the smooth silky texture is lost. But scientist Douglas Goff from Guelph University, Canada, has identified a natural 'anti-freeze' protein, produced by wheat plants to help them resist freezing in the winter. The team have been extracting the protein from wheat seedlings and adding it to ice-cream to test the effects. The team suggest that this is a vegetarian-friendly way to make smooth ice-cream. Other attempts to keep ice-cream soft have included using proteins extracted from Arctic fish, and a bacterial protein marinomonin, isolated last year from bacteria inhabiting Antarctic lakes.

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